NIU joins AIDS day activities

By Jim Harris

AIDS has been the cause of many deaths, and the center of many controversies. The true facts about the disease are often ignored, leading to many misconceptions about the nature of the disease and how it is transmitted.

World AIDS day, Dec. 1, is an annual day of AIDS observance and is designed to expand and strengthen the worldwide effort to stop the disease.

NIU and the DeKalb chapter of the American Red Cross are making efforts to increase AIDS awareness through education.

“This is an opportunity for us (Health Enhancement Services) to get more messages out to the public to prevent HIV and other STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases),” said Michael Haines, coordinator of Health Enhancement Services.

At 6:30 p.m. that evening, Health Enhancement and the Red Cross are cosponsoring an HIV/AIDS education presentation at the Murphy Center of Kishwaukee Community Hospital entitled “HIV/AIDS: Learn About the Facts.”

“(The presentation will) provide more information regarding prevention and transmission of HIV and AIDS,” said Nanci Risop, a representative of the Red Cross.

The program will contain a short video presentation and an opportunity for people to ask questions. Representatives from the DeKalb school district, the County Health Department and the DeKalb Hospice will be on hand to provide additional information and answer questions.

Haines said the Wellness Resource Center at the Holmes Student Center will be open as usual the entire week to offer information about STD’s and AIDS. The condom bowls at the Center also will be available to students.

A sign-up sheet for students interested in taking a 16-hour course on Red Cross AIDS education and how to become a certified Red Cross AIDS educator, will be available at the Wellness Resource Center and at Health Services.

Haines said a program on World AIDS day cosponsored by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Coalition and Department of Counseling and Student Development which would provide advice on how to communicate with sexual partners about safer sex. Haines said this would be for all students, heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual.